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The Keys of Hell (Paul Chavasse, #3)
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The Keys of Hell (Paul Chavasse #3)

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  507 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Super-spy Paul Chavasse - one of Jack Higgins's most extraordinary heroes - embarks on a mission to Albania, only to find himself at the centre of a deadly double-cross, fighting for his life.
Published March 1st 2002 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1965)
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Jonathon Dabell
The Jack Higgins character Paul Chavasse appears in several novels and is essentially a James Bond-style action hero. In this one, he has various cut-throat adventures in eastern Italy and the swamplands of Albania while trying to help a beautiful agent in her quest to recover a priceless religious artefact, the Black Madonna.
The entire book is best summed up as fast-moving trash. Barely a word of it is believable or rooted in reality, but it's never so bad that you feel the urge to give up and
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many twists and turns. Great
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a sub-par work for Higgins, I think. Timing was quite confusing. On page 51, the main character, Paul, notes, "Three o'clock in the morning on the waterfront of any kind of port was one hell of a time to start thinking like that.". After rescuing a woman from a physical attack, learning her story, planning a trip into Albania to retrieve the Black Madonna from marshes, being kidnapped,escaping from kidnappers, and getting on a boat headed for the Albanian marshes,he dozes off for a littl ...more
This Higgins book is typical of the Sean Dillon books except in this case the her is Paul Chavasse, this tells of him going into Albania during the Cold War to try and retrieve a religious idol which will help mobilize the resistance. Tracked by the secret police will he be able to escape. OK read.
Sep 06, 2008 rated it did not like it
Mundane thriller. Sexist and routine stereotypes. The only thing I appreciated was the martial arts fights. While the descriptions of the secret moves were silly and amusing (the dreaded karate reverse punch indeed!)at least the expertise didn't come out of nowhere; Chavasse trains three times a week with a "little japanese master" (another dated stereotype!!!)
Jan 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of Higgins' best. It is a brief current situation wrapped around the main tale of remembered action set in Albania in 1965. A story of intrigue and betrayal. The characters are shallowly developed and the writing is weaker than his usual. Still, a pleasant way to spend a few evening hours.(Even if you read slowly, this one can't take you more than 2-3 hours to read.)
Gina Gifford
This is part of a series of Paul Chavasse, British operative, novels. I liked it, but it didn't appeal as much as Robert Ludlum books do. It was refreshing to have this type of novel without much vulgarity or language. Quick easy read...
The 3rd of the Paul Chavasse series...probably the weakest of the Higgins franchise...involves Chavasse working with Italian partners working against the oppressive Albanian Cold War Regime seeking a significant religious relic...just OK!
dennis barron
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The keys of Hell. Jack higgins

Takes place primarily in Albania, during Soviet occupation. Chavasse is tricked into recovering a religious relic. Full of action, suspense and intrigue. A very believable cast of characters. A first rate thriller!

Nov 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-mystery
2004 grade F
Jan 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: action-thriller
I read this book in one day without much difficulties, simple story with some twists and turns toward the end, good pace making use of descriptive sentences that helped the story flow nicely .

Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A good "shoot 'em up" book with lots of narrow escapes from dangerous situations.

Albanian proverb: "There are not Keys to Hell... the doors are open to all men"
Jason Pym
May 21, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Unlike the previous Higgins I read, A Game For Heroes, this one just feels false. Poor characterizaton, cringe-inducing dialogue, terrible plot. A real shame, I was looking forward to it.
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
Typical good Jack Higgins novel.
David Reynolds
Not his best, but moves along quite nicely.
Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
A quick read, full of action.
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The only reason I chose it was because it took place in Albania.
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I registered a book at!
Wawan Setiawan
A very simple plot. Not a very special one, unlike the other Jack Higgins' books.
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spy
It was just OK.
Aug 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
bought it out of desperation at the airport - waste of time
rated it really liked it
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Patricia Brink
rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2008
Matt Dormer
rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2014
Henri Moreaux
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Apr 07, 2011
rated it it was ok
May 31, 2015
Charles Farran
rated it it was ok
Feb 18, 2017
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There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Jack Higgins is the pseudonym of Harry Patterson (b. 1929), the New York Times bestselling author of more than seventy thrillers, including The Eagle Has Landed and The Wolf at the Door. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Patterson grew up in Belfast, Northern Irelan
More about Jack Higgins...

Other Books in the Series

Paul Chavasse (6 books)
  • The Bormann Testament (Paul Chavasse #1)
  • Year of the Tiger (Paul Chavasse #2)
  • Midnight Never Comes   (Paul Chavasse #4)
  • Dark Side of the Street (Paul Chavasse #5)
  • A Fine Night for Dying (Paul Chavasse #6)

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